Pierre-Paul Bitton

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The light environment in water bodies changes with depth due to the absorption of short and long wavelengths. Below 10 m depth, red wavelengths are almost completely absent rendering any red-reflecting animal dark and achromatic. However, fluorescence may produce red coloration even when red light is not available for reflection. A large number of marine(More)
Elaborate ornamental plumage has been associated with various measures of individual quality in many species of birds. Male plumage characteristics, which have been relatively well studied, have been shown to reflect past reproductive investment, as well as the potential for reproductive investment in the current breeding attempt. In contrast, the(More)
Studies of trilled vocalizations provide a premiere illustration of how performance constraints shape the evolution of mating displays. In trill production, vocal tract mechanics impose a trade-off between syllable repetition rate and frequency bandwidth, with the trade-off most pronounced at higher values of both parameters. Available evidence suggests(More)
Developmental constraints and trade-offs can limit diversity, but organisms have repeatedly evolved morphological innovations that overcome these limits by expanding the range and functionality of traits. Iridescent colours in birds are commonly produced by melanin-containing organelles (melanosomes) organized into nanostructured arrays within feather(More)
Perceptual models of animal vision have greatly contributed to our understanding of animal-animal and plant-animal communication. The receptor-noise model of color contrasts has been central to this research as it quantifies the difference between two colors for any visual system of interest. However, if the properties of the visual system are unknown,(More)
Most animal eyes feature an opaque pigmented eyecup to assure that light can enter from one direction only. We challenge this dogma by describing a previously unknown form of eyeshine resulting from light that enters the eye through the top of the head and optic nerve, eventually emanating through the pupil as a narrow beam: the Optic-Nerve-Transmitted(More)
Ocular reflectors enhance eye sensitivity in dim light, but can produce reflected eyeshine when illuminated. Most teleost fish occlude their reflectors during the day. The opposite is observed in cryptic sit-and-wait predators such as scorpionfish and toadfish, where reflectors are occluded at night and exposed during the day. This results in daytime(More)
The ground beetle genus Ceroglossus contains co-distributed species that show pronounced intraspecific diversity in the form of geographical colour morphs. While colour morphs among different species appear to match in some geographical regions, in others, there is little apparent colour matching. Mimicry is a potential explanation for covariation in colour(More)
Melozone biarcuata (Prevost's Ground-sparrow) has traditionally been divided into two allopatric groups based on differences in vocalizations and plumage characteristics: M. b. cabanisi in Costa Rica and M. b. biarcuata/M. b. hartwegi in northern Central America. However, the relationship between these subspecies has not been studied using a modern(More)
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